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Team Collaboration Part Eight
Quitting: Always an option to consider
Quitting anything can be very challenging for many of us. Obviously there are issues of financial security, health insurance coverage (in the US) and future career prospects that have to be addressed if quitting a team requires quitting a job, and those practicalities are important. However, even in situations where livelihoods are not at stake, many people think of quitting as a personal failure and consequently don’t even consider it as an option unless desperate. In a team context, it can feel particularly difficult to quit because then you will feel like you are letting down the team or leaving your fellow team members in the lurch. Whatever the reasons, quitting is a very context-dependent decision that only you can make. The purpose of this article is not to persuade you that quitting is always the answer in specific situations but rather to normalize at least considering quitting. Making a good decision about your continued involvement in a team is difficult without carefully considering all of the options, and quitting is always an option that should be considered, however difficult and complicated that might be to choose
Team Collaboration Part Seven
Conflict resolution strategies for those in non-leadership roles
Conflict is one of the hardest things to deal with in any team environment for most people, regardless of position. This is often because most of us are not taught how to handle conflict in a work environment, particularly interpersonal conflicts, and this often results in feelings of helplessness and conflict resolutions that don’t satisfy all parties or lack of conflict resolution at all. While even those in leadership positions on a team may struggle with conflict, it is usually even more difficult to resolve conflicts if you are not in a position of leadership.
Having clear conflict resolution processes in place is a key element of any team collaboration, but realistically this is probably the element that is missing or miscommunicated about most often. In the absence of a more robust process, typically the default process for a team member in a non-leadership position is to make your supervisor or team lead aware of a conflict, and leave it up to them to come up with a process to resolve it. This strategy sometimes works fine, but if it fails or the conflict occurring is with the team lead or supervisor themselves, there is often no obvious recourse. This article offers a few alternative strategies to consider for dealing with conflict, including how to recognize productive vs destructive conflict, uncovering common roots of conflict, and the importance of seeking allyship support.